The most fattening fast-food meals in SA

 ·28 Jan 2015
Fat man

South Africans love their fast-food, so much so that we’ve eaten our way to becoming one of the most obese nations in the world.

The Lancet issued research by the Global Burden of Disease in 2014 listing the obesity ratings of 188 countries across the globe – and South Africa ranked highly, as one of the most obese nations.

According to the research report, 38.8% of all men over the age of 20 are considered overweight and obese – of these, 13.5% are categorised as obese.

For women, the figures are even worse – with 69.3% of women over the age of 20 considered overweight and obese, of which 42% obese.

While these are not the highest stats in the world (an ‘honour’ which belongs to nations such as the USA, and Mexico) this does make South Africa by far the fattest country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fast food, fatty meals

One of the most commonly cited reasons for South African’s growing obesity problem is the ‘westernisation’ and urbanisation of the population.

Fast-paced urban lifestyles don’t leave much room for physical activity, and increasingly put people into contact with fast-food, which often carries high fat, sugar and salt content.

While bodies vary, based on normal BMI the average man should ingest around 2,400 Calories (or kilocalories) a day, and the average woman around 2,000 Calories.

These meals listed below are the most fattening items from a number of popular South African fast-food chains which, in some cases, could fill the recommended daily intake (RDI) quota in one meal.

BusinessTech counts the calories of some of South Africa’s most loved fast-food meals.

Wimpy (Burgers)

Wimpy double bacon

Family-favourite, Wimpy has many high-calorie meals that exceed the double bacon and cheese burger, but grills and steaks are more for sit-in than fast-food take-away.

Double Bacon and cheese burger
Price R72.00
Calories 765 kcal
Fat 55.2 g
Saturated fat 22.3 g
Cholesterol 181 mg
Sodium 1213 mg
% of RDI 35%


Kauai peanut butter

Hawaiian-themed and health-focused Kauai offers many healthy meals and fitness-ready smoothies – but the chain’s peanut butter bomb (loaded with extra whey protein) isn’t shy to pack on the bulk.

Peanut butter bomb (650ml)
Price R48.90
Calories 825 kcal
Fat 33 g
Saturated fat 6 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 307 mg
% of RDI 38%

(Note: As of June 2015, the Peanut Butter Bomb is no longer sold in 650ml portions, with 500ml being the largest size. The new nutritional value of this size is 503 kcal, or 2,107 kJ)


Steers ribs

While the famed King Steer Burger (at 655 Calories), the chain’s double rack of ribs and medium chips menu option dethrones it as the heaviest offer.

Double rack of beef ribs and chips
Price R129.99
Calories 1,112 kcal
Fat 54.0 g
Saturated fat 30.0 g
Sodium 2165 mg
% of RDI 51%


Nando's chicken

Nando’s, with its flame-grilled chicken is often touted as the healthier route to the deep-fried delights of KFC – but its half-chicken and wedges meal (up-sized of course), still packs a punch.

Half chicken and large wedges
Price R83.80
Calories 1,132 kcal
Fat 60.0 g
Saturated fat 15.3 g
Cholesterol 212 mg
Sodium 1170 mg
% of RDI 51%


KFC wicked Zinger

KFC’s Wicked Zinger box meal comes packed with a burger, Zinger wings, chips, mash and a coke. It is the heaviest meal for one on offer, if you can accept that no single person can finish a 3,665 Calorie 21-piece bucket all on their own.

Wicked Zinger Box meal
Price R64.90
Calories 1,527 kcal
Fat 57.4 g
Saturated fat 20.5 g
Cholesterol 181 mg
Sodium 3928 mg
% of RDI 69%

Burger King

Burger King XXL

New old-comer to South Africa’s fast-food scene, Burger King had people literally queuing for hours to get their hands on its Whopper burger. Of course, it’s the chain’s Big King XXL burger meal – packing 955 Calories for the burger alone- which takes the prize.

Big King XXL meal
Price R73.90
Calories 1,538 kcal
Fat 75.3 g
% of RDI 70%


McDonalds McFeast Deluxe

McDonald’s has received massive criticism for its high-fat meals over the years – and rightly so. The company’s biggest bite in South Africa takes the shape of a 865 Calorie McFeast Deluxe burger. Slap on the super-size chips and soda, and we’re looking at a 2,000 Calorie meal.

McFeast Deluxe XL meal
Price R66.50
Calories 2,073 kcal
Fat 91.4 g
Saturated fat 43.2 g
Sodium 2181 mg
% of RDI 94%

Roman’s Pizza

Roman's Chicken Mayo and Feta pizza

Roman’s Pizza is a popular pizza take-out spot thanks in large part to its double-pizza prices. The chain sells its pizzas in twos, with both thin and thick base options. Technically you could double the information below, if you ate both pizzas on your own.

Chicken n’ Mayo & Feta Pizza – Large (pan base)
Price R142.90
Calories 2,311 kcal (288 kcal per slice)
Fat 108.6 g
Saturated fat 51.2 g
Sodium 5389 mg
% of RDI 105%


Debonaires Triple Decker

It should come as no surprise that a pizza chain would take the top spot on this list – particularly when that pizza chain is Debonairs, which offers stuffed crusts, sausage-stuffed bases and, yes, the triple stack pizza.

Triple Decker Meat Pizza – Large
Price R104.90
Calories 2,763 kcal (345 kcal per slice)
Fat 109.2 g
Saturated fat 68.1 g
Cholesterol 343 mg
Sodium 7454 mg
% of RDI 126%

Bonus – Cinnabon

Caramel Pecan Cinnabon

While not technically a fast-food chain, Cinnabon has made a name for itself as being one of the heaviest pieces of doughy heaven you could ingest. One Cinnabon measures roughly the size of a fist, and accounts for half your RDI.

Caramel Pecan Cinnabon
Price R27.90
Calories 1,080 kcal
Fat 50 g
Saturated fat 20 g
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium 960 mg
% of RDI 49%

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